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Ron Burkle, owner of private equity firm Yucaipa Cos. and a man best known for taking financial positions in a number of supermarket chains, reportedly has acquired an 8.3 percent stake in bookseller Barnes & Noble, making him the company’s fourth largest shareholder.

Bloomberg reports that Yucaipa my seek to enter into talks with Barnes & Noble, which lost 56 percent of its value in 2008 and suffered a self-described “terrible” holiday season. Barnes & Noble is described by Burkle as being “undervalued by the market.”

KC's View:
On the one hand, you would think that supermarkets would be a lot more viable investments at this economic juncture than bookstores. On the other hand, book stores are more likely to be undervalued and more of a bargain. And then, you have to factor in whether Barnes & Noble could be overburdened with real estate in a world where online sales and wireless electronic books are the future.

The real bottom line is this. I can think about this for years, but I still won’t see the picture the way Ron Burkle does. I don’t have the view...especially because he sees the world from a private 757 jet that former President Bill Clinton calls “Ron Air.”